What is Normal?

Hello again,

I have an interesting question for you today…. What is Normal?

At my Succeed With Money workshops I ask people to list what they think would be typical amounts for 20 common household expenses for a typical Aussie family.

Things like Groceries, Car repayments, Butcher, Telephone, Electricity, Fuel, Insurance etc… all basic stuff.

Then I ask everyone to calculate their yearly total for these 20 expenses.

Anonymously we then find what the highest year total and the lowest year total in the room is.

Almost without fail the two numbers are around this:-


Lowest $40k per year

Highest $140k per year.


Significantly, the difference is usually around $100,000!

I think you would agree that that is a staggering variation! How could two people have such different expectations?

If I had asked you what you would have expected the difference to be without telling you these figures first, I’m thinking you might have said $20k to $30k difference, not $100k!

What is normal and why is there such a massive variation?

To find out, you really need to get inside the minds of different people.

Why does one person feel the pain of embarrassment being seen in public wearing a $10 shirt when they want to be seen in a $100 designer label shirt, when another person feels just as much pain paying $100 for a shirt knowing they could get one for $10 at a department store?

This definitely comes down to Emotions and beliefs about what is OK and what is NOT OK!

As you would probably expect I believe it is so important to know in advance what you can and can’t afford and to have a plan that includes a day by day financial road map to keep your basics covered and your surplus easily identified.

Then you can make decisions about what extra’s you want and where your priorities will lie when it comes to spending, saving, investing and leisure activities.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at this in more detail but I’ll leave you today with the question “What do I think is normal for our household basics?” and “What else is possible?”

If you want some help in creating your ‘day by day financial road-map’ give me a call or shoot me an e-mail to admin@simplybudgets.com; I’d be happy to help out! My number is on the Contact page on my web-site above.

That’s all for today; have a great week-end!